Its fun when worlds collide. For instance, I love action figures. And I love yoga. You would be correct in assuming that those are two hobbies that don’t have much crossover. But thanks to a company called Kridana a bridge was built between my obsessions. Unfortunately, Kridana has come and gone. But let me at least pay a little tribute to an outstanding effort, albeit a few years late.
Last fall I was going through yoga teacher training with teachers Dave & Cheryl Oliver. Dave is a master storyteller. Often as we lay in savasana (that pose that comes at the end of a practice where you’re just laying on your mat resting) he would regale us with tales from the Hindu epic The Ramayana. One evening as we were listening to a story about the monkey-god, Hanuman, and the hero, Rama, it dawned on me that I had seen action figures of these characters a couple years previous at San Diego Comic-Con. As soon as I got home I did some webbernet searching and found the Kridana web site. They were still selling the series 1 Hanuman and Rama figures. So I made a purchase and sent a little note explaining the yoga/action figure connection.
I received an amazing reply from Elizabeth Haynes saying they were clearing out their inventory and would I be interested in a few extra figures and some additional plush toys. Would I? This was awesome as I was able to give a set of figures to Dave & Cheryl who still have them displayed in their yoga studio.
Kridana really hit it out the park with their first figures. Super impressive for a toy company’s initial offering. The Hanuman and Rama figures are high quality. Great sculpts, attractive paint apps, limited but smooth and functional articulation, smart accessories.
Hanuman was an instrumental ally to Rama in his quest to rescue his wife, Sita, from the hands of the evil Ravana.
The figures came packed with a mini-comic with cover art by Michael Turner.
Unfortunately, Kridana closed shop before producing subsequent waves. A Ravana prototype was displayed at Con and my stomach hurts knowing this awesome figure will never make it to my collection. Hindu mythology is vast and exciting and colorful. I can only imagine what terrific characters we could have gotten if the line had continued. (I am somewhat excited for DC Direct’s Warth figure, as he is essentially DC’s version of the god Ganesha.)
A few of Kridana’s Plush toys:
So if your interest in the epic Ramayana story and Hindu mythology in general has been piqued, allow me to recommend a couple books that may appeal to those of you who’d prefer something with geek culture connections!
Ramayana: Divine Loophole is beautifully illustrated by veteran Pixar animator, Sanjay Patel. The art is jaw-droppingly gorgeous cover to cover. I can totally see something like this turning into a feature length film. Do it.
For a more basic primer on all of these intriguing characters, Sanjay also published The Little Book of Hindu Deities. Vinyl toys? Anyone?
So there you have it, my less-than-epic tale of a yoga/geek culture crossover. Stay tuned for future installments including a featurette analyzing the dhyana-mudra (hand seal) Jedi Luke was rocking as he confronted Jabba the Hutt.